Wound Tight: These 7 Most Stressed Cities in America

Capable of negatively affecting an individual’s life, from relationships to careers, it is incontestable that stress is something most Americans try to avoid.

Breaking Stress Down into Four Areas

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Almost eight in every ten Americans are weighed down with stress, according to the American Psychological Association.

In a report determining America’s most and least stressed cities, WalletHub has narrowed various external agitations into four overall groups.

How WalletHub Collected The Data

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In a report by WalletHub, which assesses the stress levels of cities in America, various external factors were categorized into four main groups: Work Stress, Financial Stress, Family Stress, and Health and Safety Stress.

Each group delves into specific aspects, ranging from significant concerns like mortgage stress to more mundane issues like traffic congestion. The report aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the stressors affecting different cities across the nation.

Out of 182 U.S. Cities, Which Are the Most Stressed?

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Understanding that even minor inconveniences can add to an individual’s mental load, WalletHub categorized 182 American cities to discover which are the best and worst for somebody’s mental well-being. 

So, which are the cities with the highest stress probability? 

7. Memphis, Tennessee

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It may have a vibrant history with ties to icons like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, but Memphis is the seventh-most stressful city in America.

7. Memphis, Tennessee

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With an overall score of 53.81 out of 100, 100 being the least stressful, Memphis’s worst score area was Financial Stress. Though they have a relatively low cost of living, the city may not be the most desirable.

7. Memphis, Tennessee

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 It recorded the fourth-highest crime rate in the country, which is a concern for many inhabitants.

6. Shreveport, Louisiana 

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Nestled in a northwestern pocket of Louisiana, Shreveport may seem like a great spot to live. It has a thriving industrial center and a relatively low unemployment rate.

6. Shreveport, Louisiana 

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And yet, Shreveport is the third-worst city in America when it comes to Financial Stress.

Similarly dire, they ranked sixth overall for Health and Safety stress, placing them as the sixth most stressful city in the country with a score of 54.11.

5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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One of the largest cities in America, Philadelphia is home to over 1.5 million people. And while it may be a bustling metropolitan, it is also home to an enormous accumulation of stress. 

With an overall score of 55.29, Philadelphia ranks fifth most stressful in America.

5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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It received scores of eight, nine, and 11 for Work Stress, Financial Stress, and Health and Safety Stress, three consistently low ranks, while others have had variations.

5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Interestingly, Family Stress was a safe bet, with a much more comfortable ranking of fiftieth out of all the cities recorded.

So, if marriage, childcare, or relationship status is a concern, Philadelphia may not be all that bad!

4. Birmingham, Alabama

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Contrary to number five on the list, Birmingham, Alabama, is not ideal when it comes to being stressed about family matters. Ranking just fourth out of all cities, Family Stress is its worst achiever.

4. Birmingham, Alabama

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Recorded as having the highest crime rate, Birmingham also has the third-highest divorce rate.

And as if that isn’t enough, residents in Birmingham receive the fourth-lowest hours of average sleep a night.

4. Birmingham, Alabama

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The city was known as ‘Magic City’ in the late 1800s, and while we would like to think the title still applies, the numbers tell another story.

With an overall score of 57.11, Birmingham has a way to go.

3. Baltimore, Maryland

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With an overall score of 57.43, Baltimore is only just sliding from fourth place to third.

The city, though vibrant with historical and artistic value, did not fare well in the specified scoring.

3. Baltimore, Maryland

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Work, Financial, and Family Stress were problem areas with single-digit scores.

Health and Safety, however, was comparatively not too bad, with an overall score of 44.

3. Baltimore, Maryland

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Health and Safety covers both physical and mental health, as well as sleep, alcoholism, the suicide rate, and crime-related statistics.

In a separate study, Baltimore ranked 150 out of 182 for America’s happiest cities, which seems unsurprising given the data. 

2. Detroit, Michigan

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Displaying the highest score of Health and Safety Stress in the entire study, Detroit does not have a lot to boast about.

The city was also ranked as the second most stressful when it came to Financial Stress, which explains how the overall score was a weighted 57.75.

2. Detroit, Michigan

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If you value your sleep, Detroit may not be the city for you. With the lowest recorded average hours of sleep per night, Detroit cannot be described as restful.

Additionally, the city’s divorce rate is the second highest in the country, while its poverty rate is the highest out of all studied cities.

2. Detroit, Michigan

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Henry Ford built his first car in the city, setting off a business that would become a global name.

And while Work Stress ranked a safer 50, one thing is for certain. Detroit is not for the faint of heart.

1. Cleveland, Ohio

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The most stressful city in the U.S. is Cleveland, Ohio. The city scored an alarming 62.62, placing them well in front of the others.

1. Cleveland, Ohio

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Cleveland ranks highest in the country for Financial Stress, second highest for Health and Safety Stress, and third highest for Family Stress.

Though work stress ranked 47, it does little to reduce the scoring impact.

1. Cleveland, Ohio

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Cleveland inhabitants receive the second-lowest sleeping hours per night. They also have the highest divorce rate in the country, in addition to the second-highest poverty rate.

While the city itself is a hub of art and culture, it appears that the inhabitants are not living carefreely.

Morse Stress Than Ever Before

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While the country’s most stressful cities were largely scattered across the land, the uniting factor is that the individuals that make up each city are in the throes of one of the most high-stress periods of life in history.

Least Stressed Cities

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And while this may show up in pinpointed areas more than others, not one city in America is free from stress.

Being stress-free is idyllic and, in many ways, unrealistic, but WalletHub has awarded the following cities as being the best possible.

3. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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Scoring a pleasant 27.53, Sioux Falls is just over 35 points underneath the most stressful city.

The gap isn’t enormous, but overall, Sioux Falls ranked healthily in all areas of stress.

3. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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The city is surrounded by natural beauty and has a thriving tourism industry.

Where better to live than in a holiday environment for those who want less stress in their lives?

2. Fremont, California

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With a low poverty rate and good overall credit scores, Fremont is a shoo-in for second place.

The city’s overall score is 27.04, and with the fifth-lowest divorce rate in the country, we’re not about to question why.

1. South Burlington, Vermont

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South Burlington has one of the highest hours of sleep per night in America, and while that may not be absolutely conducive to their ranking on the board, it certainly has an effect. 

Ranked the least stressful city in America, South Burlington in Vermont scored a mere 23.43, with low rankings for all areas of stress.

1. South Burlington, Vermont

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The city is home to the famous ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s and has a population of just over 20 thousand people.

It’s a small community tucked away near Lake Chaplain, and it’s a goldmine for those wanting to avoid daily stress.

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This article was produced by TPR Teaching. Source.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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